Art & Craft: creating the Perfect Cover.

Even though I’m still working on the first draft of my MG novel, being a visual person I wanted to create a cover for the book. I pictured this cover printed out, pinned on the motivational board above my desk, urging me on (along with pots of Earl Grey) to get this draft written.

In a perfect world, I see my novel being published the traditional way, which means I get buckley’s chance of having any input into the cover (buckley’s = no chance for the non-Aussies amongst you). That’s fine, as this is just to inspire me – to see my name in print (kinda), to see the cover so that on those grim days, when motivation eludes me, I’m inspired to get that chapter written.

To that end, I decided to forgo my usual play around with photoshop & actually invest in a cover. That’s right, I mean pay somebody to do it for me. Being unwilling (and unable) to invest too much cash I wandered across to

I did a search for ebook cover artists, found one that had some great samples up and engaged their services. Now, for those who have never visited fiverr, there are all sorts of options attached to these ‘transactions. A basic cover cost me five dollars, incorporating several different elements/images costs an additional five dollars and so on. I went for the basic, no frills, five dollar option.

My wish list for the artist went like this:

  1. It’s an MG novel – aimed at primary school students.
  2. It’s an environmental-themed story.
  3. The main protagonists are an 11 year old girl and a boy around the same age.
  4. The title & my name.

This is what I got:

Firstly, this doesn’t scream MG to me. Secondly, my name is larger than the title? What’s with that? Thirdly, pink? Where’s the environmental connection? Fourthly, no.

This is a nice cover (besides the disproportionate title/author name thing) but it’s not for my book.

It was a good thing in the end though, as it motivated me to get off my behind and create my own image. That way, I don’t have to worry about copyright or anything of that ilk, and I can use the image as much or as little as I like. So, being a teacher, I got out my crafting materials & went crazy!

Seeing my book has an environmental theme (and I’m a Sustainability Teacher), instead of buying anything I didn’t already have, I went the recycling route with my collage:

The ‘base’ is a page from a sketch pad I bought at a second-hand shop.

The sky/background is made up of the inside of envelopes.

The tree trunk is an old cereal box.

The leaves & flowers are made up of remnants left over from a previous crafting session.

The girl (Lyssa) is drawn on an old scrap of computer paper.

Finished product with title, my name & a brief blurb added with photoshop.
I know the finished product needs work, but I can take my time with that as it’s all done on my computer. Having the original picture on my pinboard inspires me more than just picturing it in my mind ever could.
Moral of the story? Best five dollars I ever spent!

About B Lee Draper

Teacher, uni student, aspiring writer.
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